Saturday, December 13, 2014


(Post 5 of 11)

2000's Academy Award Winning film Gladiator certainly owes a debt to previous films like Spartacus and Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, but the story of General Maximus, the Roman leader turned gladiatorial slave certainly has a lot going for it in its own right. Epic story from Oscar nominee David Franzoni turned into a most memorable ancient Rome by Oscar winning director Ridley Scott and highlighted by the the subdued Oscar winning performance from Russell Crowe make this one an all-around success.


Obituary of person with 1001 movie connection: I know I'm cheating with this one, but I'm listing Oliver Reed. Oliver (1938-1999) technically died in 1999, but since he was in Gladiator and is given a memorial credit in the end credits, I'll go with it. Oliver had many acting credits in the 60's, but the earliest movie I can remember him in is as the evil Bill Sikes in Oliver! in 1968. He was also in Ken Russell's The Devils (a 1001 movie entry) and played Athos in the fun Three Musketeers and Four Musketeers. He played Ann-Margaret's husband in the Who's Tommy, though his singing in that film may be best forgotten. His credits from the late 70's and beyond were a bit on the cheesy side, including the horror films Burnt Offerings and The Brood and the awful Two of a Kind. But one of his best roles was his last, as the before mentioned Proximus in Gladiator. He plays the ringleader of the gladiators who cares only about the show and the profits until later (as the line in the movie goes) when he succumbs to the temptation of becoming an honest man.

Or does he? Reed died during the filming with several of his scenes left to shoot. Expensive computer generated imagery of Reed was used to complete the film and his death scene was filmed from the back (Fake Shemping?) Despite these handicaps, it is a nice final film role for Mr. Reed.

Oliver Reed (I think) in Gladiator

No comments:

Post a Comment